80 books like Corpse

By Jessica Snyder Sachs,

Here are 80 books that Corpse fans have personally recommended if you like Corpse. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Criminal Investigation: A Practical Handbook for Magistrates, Police Officers and Lawyers

C. A. Asbrey Author Of Innocent Bystander

From my list on for writers of Victorian mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical mysteries, and developed an interest in early forensics when I was a police officer. I have worked in private industry, as a civilian police worker, and in a department connected to the Home Office. Historical mysteries particularly appeal to me as they present a different, and very specific, challenge. There’s no lab to process evidence, and everything needs to be double-checked for anachronisms, even down to the colour of light from gas lamps in different areas. Extensive research acted as the foundation for developing the characters in The Innocents Mystery Series. I like my mysteries twisty, complex, and intricate; through a fog of history and a touch of light humour.  

C. A.'s book list on for writers of Victorian mysteries

C. A. Asbrey Why did C. A. love this book?

Europe was at the forefront of the revolution in forensic science in the 19th century. Way ahead of the UK, and decades ahead of the USA. While most of the pioneers were doctors, Gross was a lawyer. He made the language of the law more accessible. Written over a hundred-and-fifty years ago as a textbook, the style will appeal more to the academic reader and researcher of historical forensics. The Kindle version hasn’t been transcribed well, but is a fascinating window on the past nevertheless. 

By Hans Gross,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Criminal Investigation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Excerpt from Criminal Investigation

This Indian and Colonial edition, while omitting some portions of the original which would be of no use to the practical worker, for example, the slang words of Bohemian gipsies, thus contains much new and interesting matter, the better to adapt the book for India and the Colonies, and also to bring the last German edition of 1904 thoroughly up to date. These new passages, derived from the writings of specialists, the latest criminal intelligence, and the somewhat extensive experience of the adap tors as criminal lawyers, are interwoven with the text.


Book cover of A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie

C. A. Asbrey Author Of Innocent Bystander

From my list on for writers of Victorian mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical mysteries, and developed an interest in early forensics when I was a police officer. I have worked in private industry, as a civilian police worker, and in a department connected to the Home Office. Historical mysteries particularly appeal to me as they present a different, and very specific, challenge. There’s no lab to process evidence, and everything needs to be double-checked for anachronisms, even down to the colour of light from gas lamps in different areas. Extensive research acted as the foundation for developing the characters in The Innocents Mystery Series. I like my mysteries twisty, complex, and intricate; through a fog of history and a touch of light humour.  

C. A.'s book list on for writers of Victorian mysteries

C. A. Asbrey Why did C. A. love this book?

For any fans of vintage murder mysteries this book is a must-read. This is a thorough examination of the poisons used by Agatha Christie, giving details of the availability, interactions with the human body, how toxins can be detected now, and at the time the books were written. As a reader or a writer, this book will make murder by poison less of a mystery, and more of a trail of clues.     

By Kathryn Harkup,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A is for Arsenic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the BMA Book Awards and Macavity Awards 2016 Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's all made-up ... Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random - the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not…


Book cover of 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics

Frances McNamara Author Of Molasses Murder in a Nutshell: A Nutshell Murder Mystery

From my list on real women in criminology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was frustrated by stories of gilded-age women who floundered around and were pitied because of the limitations society put on them. I thought the heroine of House of Mirth was not heroine but a loser. It seemed to me there must be other women out there who weren’t just sitting around bemoaning their predicament. Since I’m a mystery writer I was especially pleased to find some women who were out there doing things, even in criminology. Finding Frances Glessner Lee was the icing on the cake when I learned that she is known as the Mother of Forensic Science. Had to be great stories there.

Frances' book list on real women in criminology

Frances McNamara Why did Frances love this book?

The Nutshell Studies are now located in Maryland at the medical examiner’s office.

Goldfarb worked there and his book provides information on how Frances Glessner Lee became involved in the work of her brother’s old friend Dr. George Meredith Magrath who was medical examiner in Boston (Suffolk County).

His work demonstrated the need for a technically proficient medical examiner system to replace the old coroner system and for police detectives to be trained to deal with a crime scene. Called Legal Medicine at the time, this was the beginning of forensics as we know it now.

It’s fascinating how one woman used her money and influence to establish training for law enforcement officials even after her mentor Dr. Magrath died.

By Bruce Goldfarb,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 18 Tiny Deaths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A captivating blend of history, women in science, and true crime, 18 Tiny Deaths tells the story of how one woman changed the face of forensics forever.

Frances Glessner Lee, born a socialite to a wealthy and influential Chicago family in the 1870s, was never meant to have a career, let alone one steeped in death and depravity.

Yet she developed a fascination with the investigation of violent crimes, and made it her life's work. Best known for creating the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dollhouses that appear charming―until you notice the macabre little details: an overturned…


Book cover of When Science Sheds Light on History: Forensic Science and Anthropology

C. A. Asbrey Author Of Innocent Bystander

From my list on for writers of Victorian mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical mysteries, and developed an interest in early forensics when I was a police officer. I have worked in private industry, as a civilian police worker, and in a department connected to the Home Office. Historical mysteries particularly appeal to me as they present a different, and very specific, challenge. There’s no lab to process evidence, and everything needs to be double-checked for anachronisms, even down to the colour of light from gas lamps in different areas. Extensive research acted as the foundation for developing the characters in The Innocents Mystery Series. I like my mysteries twisty, complex, and intricate; through a fog of history and a touch of light humour.  

C. A.'s book list on for writers of Victorian mysteries

C. A. Asbrey Why did C. A. love this book?

This is exactly the kind of book I find fascinating, with real-life historical mysteries being explored and researched using cutting-edge scientific methodologies. It covers so many aspects of forensics, from facial reconstruction to DNA. If you are the kind of person who loves seeing famous people from history analysed for poisons, seeing mummies facing the same medical problems as we do, and wonder if a skull found in an attic belongs to a king, then this is the book for you.    

By Philippe Charlier, David Alliot, Isabelle Ruben (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Science Sheds Light on History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Did Richard the Lionheart really die from just a crossbow wound, or was there foul play? Who are the two infant children buried in Tutankhamen's tomb? Could a skull found in a tax collector's attic be the long-lost head of Henri IV? In When Science Sheds Light on History, Philippe Charlier, the "Indiana Jones of the graveyards," travels the globe with his forensics team to unravel these and other historic mysteries. To get answers, Charlier looks for clues in medical records, death masks, fingerprints, and bloodstains. He even enlists the help of perfume experts to smell and identify embalming materials.…


Book cover of How to Solve a Murder: True Stories from a Life in Forensic Medicine

Tim Sullivan Author Of The Monk

From my list on forensic investigation in murder cases.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated with crime and crime fiction. From my early obsession with the novels of Raymond Chandler to my embarrassingly late discovery of Agatha Christie. I directed epsiodes of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett for Masterpiece theatre, which was a dream come true. But it frustrates me when television dramas tread roughshod over forensic science, making absurd claims for what can be done, when the truth, as mundane as it often can be, is so much more fascinating. To this end I have just graduated with an Mlitt from the University of Dundee in Crime Fiction and Forensic Investigation. I hope this will lend my books an air of authenticity and dramatic drive.

Tim's book list on forensic investigation in murder cases

Tim Sullivan Why did Tim love this book?

This is a fantastically readable book about the world-famous Department of Forensic Medicine at Guy’s Hospital in London.

A little macabre at times, the most macabre on this list perhaps, it is always dosed with a good measure of humour. What is unique about the book is that it is told from the perspective of a husband and wife team working in the same department. You may enjoy CSI on TV but this is the real deal.

By Derek Tremain, Pauline Tremain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Solve a Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As gripping as it is gruesome, How to Solve a Murder is a fascinating insight into the career of a forensic scientist. Includes a foreword from Dr Richard Shepherd, bestselling author of Unnatural Causes.

FRACTURED SKULLS. GAS MASKS. BRAIN BUCKETS. VATS OF ACID. PICKLED BODY PARTS.

Not the usual tools of trade, but for Chief Forensic Medical Scientist Derek and Forensic Secretary Pauline they were just part of a normal day in the office inside the world-famous Department of Forensic Medicine at Guy's Hospital in London.

Derek has played a pivotal role in investigating some of the UK's most high-profile…


Book cover of Murder and the Making of English CSI

Katherine D. Watson Author Of Medicine and Justice: Medico-Legal Practice in England and Wales, 1700-1914

From my list on the history of forensic medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I work on topics where medicine, crime, and the law intersect, aided by an undergraduate degree in chemistry and stimulated by my fascination with how criminal justice systems work. I have published on the history of poisoning, vitriol attacks, assault, child murder, and the role of scientific expertise in criminal investigations and trials, focusing on Britain since the seventeenth century. I’ve contributed to many TV documentaries over the years, and enjoy the opportunity to explain just why the history of crime is about so much more than individual criminals: it shows us how people in the past lived their lives and helps explain how we got where we are today.  


Katherine's book list on the history of forensic medicine

Katherine D. Watson Why did Katherine love this book?

This is an important resource for anyone interested in the history of twentieth-century forensic practice, because it explains the rise of forensic science as a discipline separate from forensic medicine. Forensic scientists, based in laboratories, analyse trace evidence found at crime scenes, while forensic pathologists focus on the dead body in the mortuary. An analysis of the 1953 serial murders committed by John Christie at his infamous London address, 10 Rillington Place, shows how murder investigations had by then become team efforts centred on the crime scene itself. 

By Ian Burney, Neil Pemberton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder and the Making of English CSI as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Crime scene investigation-or CSI-has captured the modern imagination. On television screens and in newspapers, we follow the exploits of forensic officers wearing protective suits and working behind police tape to identify and secure physical evidence for laboratory analysis. But where did this ensemble of investigative specialists and scientific techniques come from? In Murder and the Making of English CSI, Ian Burney and Neil Pemberton tell the engrossing history of how, in the first half of the twentieth century, novel routines, regulations, and techniques-from chain-of-custody procedures to the analysis of hair, blood, and fiber-fundamentally transformed the processing of murder scenes. Focusing…


Book cover of Unnatural Causes

Tim Sullivan Author Of The Monk

From my list on forensic investigation in murder cases.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated with crime and crime fiction. From my early obsession with the novels of Raymond Chandler to my embarrassingly late discovery of Agatha Christie. I directed epsiodes of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett for Masterpiece theatre, which was a dream come true. But it frustrates me when television dramas tread roughshod over forensic science, making absurd claims for what can be done, when the truth, as mundane as it often can be, is so much more fascinating. To this end I have just graduated with an Mlitt from the University of Dundee in Crime Fiction and Forensic Investigation. I hope this will lend my books an air of authenticity and dramatic drive.

Tim's book list on forensic investigation in murder cases

Tim Sullivan Why did Tim love this book?

Forensic pathologist Dr. Richard Shepherd has performed over 23,000 autopsies over his career. This has given him a unique perspective on life and death.

His description of his arrival at one of the first crime scenes he’d attended The Hungerford Massacre is worth the price of this book alone. It reads a like a haunting, eerie screenplay. Driving through a normal, ordinary suburban housing estate, coming across body after body. Haunting and respectful.

Shepherd also deals with the difficulty of not taking his work home with him after examining the results of the horrors people can inflict upon one another.

By Richard Shepherd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unnatural Causes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'An absolutely brilliant book. I really recommend it, I don't often say that but it's fascinating' Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

'One of the most fascinating books I have read in a long time. Engrossing, a haunting page-turner. A book I could not put down' The Times
__________

Meet the forensic pathologist, Dr Richard Shepherd.

He solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden death.

He's a detective in his own right.

And he has one, ultimate and pressing question to answer:

How did this person die?

Unnatural Causes is an unputdownable record of an extraordinary life, a unique insight into…


Book cover of Savage Appetites: True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession

Elizabeth Greenwood Author Of Love Lockdown: Dating, Sex, and Marriage in America's Prisons

From my list on true crime-adjacent stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

When asked to describe the nonfiction genre I work in, I often say “true crime-adjacent,” meaning that while there is crime in my books, I’m more interested in the people, circumstances, and culture in which those crimes occur than the act itself. I love books that go deep into character analysis and motivation, as well as the author’s inclination toward the subject. These true crime-adjacent books are all-absorbing, thought-provoking page-turners, with stories so wild you won’t believe they’re completely real. 

Elizabeth's book list on true crime-adjacent stories

Elizabeth Greenwood Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Women are the top consumers of true crime. But why, when the stories so often feature women as victims of violence? New Yorker journalist Rachel Monroe profiles four different women in the roles of Detective, Victim, Defender, and Killer to see what it’s all about. The reporting and context in this book are staggering, and Monroe’s writing is both critical and empathic. 

By Rachel Monroe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Savage Appetites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A “necessary and brilliant” (NPR) exploration of our cultural fascination with true crime told through four “enthralling” (The New York Times Book Review) narratives of obsession.

In Savage Appetites,Rachel Monroe links four criminal roles—Detective, Victim, Defender, and Killer—to four true stories about women driven by obsession. From a frustrated and brilliant heiress crafting crime-scene dollhouses to a young woman who became part of a Manson victim’s family, from a landscape architect in love with a convicted murderer to a Columbine fangirl who planned her own mass shooting, these women are alternately mesmerizing, horrifying, and sympathetic. A revealing study of women’s…


Book cover of Hiding the Past

Janet Few Author Of Sins as Red as Scarlet: a Devon Town in Turmoil

From my list on genealogical mystery novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I inhabit the past. You may find me lurking in my four-hundred-year-old Devon cottage, or spot me thinly disguised as the formidable Mistress Agnes, a good wife of a certain age who leads a somewhat chaotic life during the mid-seventeenth century. I write, I read, I research, I share my passion, I write some more. My life revolves around reading, writing and researching history. Having spent the past forty-five years unravelling my own family’s story and loving both historical and crime novels, what could be better than a book that combines all these elements. I have to say that if genealogy was as dangerous a career as some of these books imply, no one would be advised to take it up!

Janet's book list on genealogical mystery novels

Janet Few Why did Janet love this book?

Peter Coldrick is a man without a past, that is until he hires forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier. There are those who will go to any lengths to ensure that Coldrick’s origins remain hidden. Morton’s investigations lead him into danger and make him realise that he needs to begin the quest to uncover the story of his own hidden past.

By Nathan Dylan Goodwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hiding the Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter Coldrick had no past; that was the conclusion drawn by years of personal and professional research. Then he employed the services of one Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist – a stubborn, determined man who uses whatever means necessary to uncover the past. With the Coldrick Case, Morton faces his toughest and most dangerous assignment yet, where all of his investigative and genealogical skills are put to the test. However, others are also interested in the Coldrick family, people who will stop at nothing, including murder, to hide the past. As Morton begins to unearth his client’s mysterious past, he is…


Book cover of Hazardous Duty

Sharon Dunn Author Of Romance Rustlers & Thunderbird Thieves

From my list on that made me laugh out loud.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I love books that reflect strong family values, I don’t like sugary sweetness to the point of unrealism. I prefer to read about real people who can make fun of themselves and the world. That sarcastic and biting edge seems to tap into a deeper honesty about life while making me roll around on the floor and break all my furniture.  

Sharon's book list on that made me laugh out loud

Sharon Dunn Why did Sharon love this book?

Before Amy Adams made Sunshine Cleaning, a movie about a crime scene cleaner, Christy Barritt created Gabby St. Claire who took on the same job after dropping out of forensic science school. While cleaning a crime scene, Gabby finds a murder weapon the police missed. She realizes the wrong person was put in jail and that powerful people want to keep it that way. Like my book, Hazardous Duty is written in first person using humor and larger-than-life characters to drive the mystery forward. I love the deep connection with the character’s interior life (with all her insecurities) that I get when I read a first-person novel.    

By Christy Barritt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hazardous Duty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gabby St. Claire dropped out of school on her way to completing a degree in forensic science. Instead, she did the next best thing: she started her own crime scene cleaning business. When a routine cleaning job uncovers a murder weapon the police overlooked, she realizes that the wrong person is in jail. But the owner of the weapon is willing to do anything to keep Gabby quiet. With the help of her neighbor, Riley Thomas, Gabby plays detective. But can Riley help her before another murder occurs?


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in forensic science, Victorian, and murder?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about forensic science, Victorian, and murder.

Forensic Science Explore 35 books about forensic science
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